Ever since our latest trip to Belize, I’ve realized how important it is to take a proper break and completely disconnect from the world for a little while. Yes, long weekend trips to the Hamptons are great, but I feel that I’m on a real digital diet only when I am off my laptop and off social media for more than a week. I’ve been working very hard lately and I feel that I deserve a vacation. However, realistically speaking, Ben and I won’t be able to go on an adventure until the end of summer or early fall. While we still have enough time to make up our minds on where we want to go, I’ve been browsing online lately and created my personal wishlist for a summer 2016 vacation.
I am an avid art and architecture lover. I love visiting the cosmopolitan cities of Europe and trying out the life of local people. Looking through the rows of outdoor markets, exploring museums, shopping, and sampling authentic food—is there anything more inspiring in the world?
ONE // Paris
You probably remember that I started learning French to visit Paris one day. My current language proficiency isn’t high enough to allow me to fluently communicate with the locals, but I’m getting there!
TWO // London
It’s funny: I studied British English while growing up in Russia, but I can’t watch British movies now. I don’t understand the accent! I guess it’s time to catch up on my knowledge about the U.K. and visit its amazing capital.
THREE // Amsterdam
I’ve always wanted to explore this legendary city famous for its fascinating maritime past, especially because the architecture of my favorite Russian city, St. Petersburg, was inspired by this city.
FOUR // Vienna
I visited this city a few times when I was a child, and I can’t wait to go back as an adult. As far as I remember, it’s one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, not to mention one of the world’s best chocolate suppliers!
FIVE // Budapest
Again, this capital combines a few of my favorite things: Art Nouveau architecture, thermal spas, and unique food. One of my college friends spent a few weeks there and she highly recommends visiting this magnificent city.
It might be counter-productive to go on a beach vacation in summer, but that’s exactly what I’ve been dreaming about these days. Whether it is a refreshing dip in the ocean or a boat trip, I’m all about exploring exotic islands this summer.
ONE // Santorini (Greece)
I fell in love with this island after I saw these photos at Gal Meets Glam blog, where Julia is exploring the blue and white architecture, surrounded by the clearest turquoise water.
TWO // Panarea (Italy)
Known as the “smallest and most fashionable of the Aeolians”, this island is a must-visit for everyone who loves barefoot walking, swimming, and yachting—in the comfort of an (almost) tourist-free environment.
THREE // Hvar (Croatia)
There’s much more to do in Hvar than just spend days on the beach. Historical tours, boating, nightclubs—a few of our friends took a two-week-long cruise in Croatia and loved it, so we were thinking of repeating their amazing trip.
FOUR // Bali (Indonesia)
I’ve heard many times that this destination has been named “the best island in the world” and I’m dying to check out whether it’s true!
FIVE // St. Maarten
We’ve been planning to visit this island for quite some time, and it’s still at the top of our list. People visiting St. Maarten love the stress-free vibe of the island and its unique location that allows visitors to combine a relaxing beach vacation with fun adventures.
Perhaps, my most favorite vacation is one where we can go on all sorts of adventures. I love exploring the untouched natural wonders and seeing an abundance of animal life on thrilling excursions with a local guide. Such a reconnection with the Earth makes me feel really disconnected from the modern world and truly relaxes my mind and body.
ONE // Costa Rica
Most of our friends swear by Costa Rican trips and we’ve been planning on visiting it for a long time. Rainforest hiking, rafting, horseback riding, exotic wildlife watching—it seems like a perfect vacation spot for a couple of exploration geeks like us!
TWO // Ecuador
Ever since we visited Belize, I’ve been dreaming of visiting this country. Known for its exotic wildlife and authentic Quichua culture, this land boasts truly astounding biodiversity.
THREE // Peru
Ben and I love Peruvian cuisine, so visiting Peru isn’t just going to be a cultural and wildlife tour for us, but also a food exploration mission.
FOUR // Norway
I’m dying to see and, perhaps, take a balloon tour to one of the world’s most unique natural creations—fjords! Spectacular waterfalls, tiny roads, adorable villages—I’m so ready to encounter a supreme reconnection with nature.
FIVE // Laos
A long time ago, I read in National Geographic that Laos is one of the rare countries in the world that has adopted ecotourism as its official (read: governmental) strategy and I’d love to see how this approach works in reality. Perhaps the U.S. can learn some of this environmentally friendly country’s sustainable practices too.
I hope this vacation inspiration list has been helpful for you and you’ve been able to find some new interesting locations to put on your to-visit list. Please let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever visited any of these places. Also, perhaps you can recommend some of the adventures or restaurants that you enjoyed the most during your trip?
Photos via Kayture, Gal Meets Glam, Paris In Four Months, Queen Of Jet Lags, The New York Times, Telegraph, Travel + Leisure, Bed & Breakfast Panarea, One Day In A City, Vacation St. Maarten, Garance Dore, The Viennese Girl, Diana Cloudlet, Pink Peonies, Let’s Travel Somewhere, and Adventure Of Two.